Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Potato Fudge

This fudge is a favorite of my family. I started making it 5 or 6 years ago. My DH talked about it frequently as a favorite of his growing up so I asked my in-laws for the recipe. They have since passed on, so this is a way to remember them during the holidays.

1 potato, boiled and mashed ( I use a little milk and butter to get a nice consistency)
confectioner's sugar at least a pound. It may be more or less depending on the size of your potato
peanut butter

While your potato is still warm, add confectioner's sugar 1/2 a cup at a time until the consistency is that of pie crust dough.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle (depending on your potato, this could wind up being 2 rectangles)

Spread the rectangle with peanut butter (I guess you could use something else as filling if you don't like peanut butter. I bet it would taste good with Nutella.)

Roll the dough up like a jelly roll, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Slice into very thin slices, approximately 1/8" thick or thinner.

This is VERY sweet and rich, so you don't want to do more than nibble.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A loving example

My Auntie Mary passed away this morning. She was elderly, and had been in poor health for quite some time. I understand she was not suffering. I had not seen her in years, but she was in our thoughts at every family gathering.
She was one of two aunts left on my mother’s side. You see, she was my mother’s aunt, my great aunt. She was just Auntie Mary to all of us, however, and there were many of us. She was one of many children. Her siblings included Jim, John, Patrick, Siobhan, Nonie, and Tess. I am certain I have missed someone in that list. Now only Tess is still living.

Each of the siblings had at least a few children of their own. In fact, there are so many cousins on my mother’s side that I cannot name them all. I know Mary had Maura and Alice, but I know that she had others. Alice is not too terribly older than I am.

Tess had Jim, Kathy, Maryann, Theresa, Johanna, and Patty. Patty is several months older than I am. Patty is my mother’s first cousin. She and I graduated from high school together. My mother’s father was Patrick, also known as Patsy. He sired Stephen, Mary, Norah, Bridget, Kathleen, Hanna, and Patrick. Mary is my mother. Her brother Patrick is only seven years older than I am, and his children are close in age to my children. I have children who are older than some of my first cousins, and first cousins who are just old enough to have baby sat for my older children. One of my cousins is sixteen years old. She and my thirteen-year-old daughter get along really well. One of her older sisters is right between my older two children in age.

I am the oldest grandchild of my grandfather Patsy. My children are older that the children of most of my first cousins on my mother's side. Many of my cousins have very young children, and several are not old enough to have children yet.

This gives you some idea of the family dynamic. Anyone from a large family understands the challenges that trying to keep track of all the nieces, nephews and cousins brings. Auntie Mary always made you feel like you were the most special child to ever walk into her home, which is no small feat when on Christmas day you could have anywhere from fifty to a hundred relatives stop by to visit.

When I was about thirteen years old, the age my younger daughter is now, we stopped in at Auntie Mary’s for a visit on Christmas day. Not only did she appear delighted to see us, but she also had gifts for my brother and for me. I was thrilled that she had thought of me, and thrilled with the gift. If you grew up when I did, you would remember the “kissing potion” and oversized, flavored lip balms and glosses that were all the rage. This is what Auntie Mary had for me. It was a cola flavored lip balm, and may have been one of my favorite gifts that year.

In retrospect, I realize that Auntie Mary had several “extra” gifts under her tree. A few were for boys, a few for girls. She was the type of person who sought to include everyone. I was not very confident at thirteen. I felt very awkward in most situations, but I felt loved at Auntie Mary’s.

Thank you, Lord, for the example that Auntie Mary was to my family, and many others. May she rest in peace.

A giveaway from the Homeschool Lounge

The Homeschool Lounge is giving away a GPX 4GB Digital Audio MP3 Player with Stereo EarbudsRetail Value: $66.00
Favorite tunes play on with this 4GB digital audio MP3 player. At home or on the go, just plug and play to hear songs through the stereo earbuds. The headphones give easy access to volume control and preset equalizer settings let the sounds come through loud and clear--all the time. From GPX.

You can join me in this giveaway by checking out the Homeschool Lounge and this event here.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A review of Map Trek

A couple of years ago my daughter was studying Ancient Egypt and Ancient Israel. One of the exercises her lesson plans called for was to use a map of Ancient Egypt and to fill in certain cities, rivers and landmarks. I could not find a map in any of the homeschool resources that were available to me at the time. Fast forward to a couple of months ago. Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest and Bramley Books put out Map Trek: Ancient World An Atlas and outline maps of world history. There are lesson plans, chronological maps from the Descendants of Noah, Mesopotamia, Ancient Africa, Ancient Egypt, The Exodus, Early Greece, Solomon’s Kingdom, The Founding of Rome just to name a few. I use Mother of Divine Grace syllabi, and they frequently call for the use of maps. Map Trek lists the following curriculi as using chronological maps for their history programs: TruthQuest History, Story of the World, Biblioplan for Families, Tapestry of Grace, Sonlight Curriculum, Mystery of History, My Father’s World, Living Books Curriculum, Ambleside Online and Winter Promise. I am certain that any geography program would also benefit fro the use of these maps. The ability to contrast how different areas of the world look today with how they were laid out in ancient times is of great value to anyone currently studying geography or history.

If you are in need of maps, I recommend taking a look at this resource. It is not the only map resource I have purchased through the years, but I really am glad I have found it. When my son studies Ancient Egypt and Israel, I will have the resources he needs to more fully understand what he is learning.

Thank you Terri Johnson for a great product. I am looking forward to looking at the Map Trek Medieval World next. My daughter is studying that time period now.

I have placed links to Knowledge Quest products at the top of my blog. Feel free to go check them out.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Teacher's Book Bag

The Teacher's Book Bag is monthly unit studies. They are available as Preschool-Kindergarten, First through third, and Fourth and beyond units, or as a package of all three "grade" levels. I just purchased the December Book Bag for Fourth and Beyond. It is all about the Human Body. In looking through it, I was pleased with both the information and the activities. It is a well put together unit, and the information is professionally presented so that anyone could easily teach the unit.
Teacher Book Bag also has lapbooks and other unit studies available. They can be found at Currclick.com


I wrote a short essay on an advent traditions. It can be found on Catholic Exchange. I hope you will hop on over there to read about Jesse trees.

May the Lord bless us all this Advent season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

Nearly 400 years ago the pilgrims sat down for a feast with their native neighbors to give thanks to God for surviving their first year in the "new world." This week we remember that first Thanksgiving. I pray that all those who are able will give thanks to God for surviving another year. We have different hardships. We do not have to worry about the same things they did. We have H1N1, they had the flu, or diphtheria, or small pox. We have vaccines for the worst of those diseases that claimed many of those pioneering folks of old, so our worries and fears are probably different than their were. Our prayer, however, should be the same: "Thank you, Lord!"

"Black Friday" sale at Notebooking pages!

WHEN: Tuesday, November 24th - Monday, November 30th
WHERE: http://notebookingpages.com/store
HOW MUCH: 35% OFF ALL Notebooking Products & Combo Sets
1) NO discount code needed. Prices already marked.
2) If you have a discount code, you can use it for more savings!
3) Sale excludes "Getting Started Packages".
4) Add any order to a CD for $10 (shipping is free).

Thursday, November 05, 2009

As the first quarter ends....

we find ourselves settling into a routine for the week. We still have a few logistical bumps here and there, but for the most part, we have things figured out. Each of the children is finding things a bit more challenging this year. The 9 year old and the 13 year old have each been "bumped up" a grade level. I did this in order to challenge them and see if they would rise to the occasion. For the most part, they are both doing a pretty good job. DS is really enjoying both his art and science classes at co-op. He does not particularly enjoy his writing class, as it is a challenge for him, but he is putting forth decent effort. DD is enjoying her art class, Apologetics class, Church history class, literature class, and "gym" class. She is doing the work for science, but it is not her favorite. Both of their grades are a little lower than they would be at a lower grade level, but that is because of the difficulty of the work expected from them.

Thank You for helping us to make a good start. Please be with us as we continue along this path You have set us on.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Emergency Dollar Summit

Click here for an opportunity to hear Steve Forbes discuss financial threats and solutions.
I had the opportunity to hear Steve Forbes speak in September. I thought he would be dry and boring, but I was wrong. He was quite an engaging speaker. If you can find the time to listen, sign up for this free online seminar.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Srodowisko at Quiet Waters

This is a video of my daughter's youth group at their srodowisko retreat in August. The song that is playing is the youth group singing a song that they wrote that week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6I2a1FbHF4
This is an incredible group of young people ranging in age from 12 to 20 something. The older youth mentor the younger youth and they are all hoping to attend World Youth Day in Spain in 2011.
Pray for them to be able to raise the needed funds, please.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

How NOT to invite someone to a BNI meeting

This is the way someone else in the carpet cleaning industry was invited to a BNI meeting, with the obvious results of being frustrated and uninformed about the real purpose of BNI, or business networking of any type:
"A BNI breakfast. Why did I fall for it? Client has begged me for years. I caved in & had to get up early for it only to find food that wasn't. No meat? Scones, fruit & flavored gay coffee. Before I was to make my intro speech I said screw it & apologized to my client only to run to MacDonalds for some pork & man coffee. I have never listened to anything as sorry as what I listened to this morning! It was as if I was listening to congress as corrupt as they are. When the numbnuts realtor started talking about writing reviews for each other on our websites I made my exit. The stuff I heard confirms that small business America will commit sodomous acts to stay in business and can be bought at any price. "

The proper way to invite someone to a BNI meeting is, "I am going to a business meeting on __________. I would like to introduce you to these business people. I think it could help your business. Would you like to come?"

You can see in the "invitation" above that this carpet cleaner was invited to a BNI breakfast. BNI is not about breakfast. It is about business. My hope is that this poor carpet cleaner did not burn some bridges with the business people in that room. He may have lost a valuable "sales team."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to behave in the public square.

Here is an excellent article about how Christians (and really, everyone else) should behave in the public square. There has been a breakdown in discussion to the point of name calling and mud slinging recently. The truth and compromise become the victims when no one is willing to have an exchange of ideas.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to School

We started co-op classes today. YDS has 3 classes and his sister has 6 or 7...I lost count! Our co-op has a very full junior high/high school level "program" and she will participate in that. It is 2 days and will probably fill most of her week after "homework" is assigned. I had won a Picturing America grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and we are sharing it with our co-op. One of the other mothers has a degree in art and agreed to teach with the grant. Both of my children had her class today. She is teaching twice...once for the younger group and once for the older group. They used clay today to sculpt after looking at and learning about southwestern pottery. Both of my children enjoyed it.
YDD has a literature class this year. I was informed by her teacher that she was enthusiastic during class and even asked if they might get to read and study more than just the 3 books currently on the syllabus. I wondered if it could possibly have been my child she was talking about, or perhaps a body snatcher alien.....

Both students have science classes with a wonderful retired science teacher. We will see how the year goes. It is the first time YDS has been sent off into classrooms without mom hovering around.

I get to be hall monitor. I don't mind being the mean mom who has to corral little ones back to pre-school music, or tell teens to lower their voices. I also monitor the door to the building we use. There is an office there for a missions group and there are elderly sisters who live in half of the building so we are not the only people in and out. It is an old convent building. We are grateful that we have use of the building. It has given us the opportunity to have a really full co-op.

Dear Lord,
Please guide us on the path of your choosing this year. May we be humble and loving. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Well, we tried to go away for a few days. We went to Orleans, MA. We left Saturday morning and came home Sunday evening. We were supposed to stay until Tuesday. Our 19 year old was supposed to help out and do our cleaning for us. DH had the feeling on Sunday that we needed to come home. No sooner were we all packed than my phone rang and 19 was telling me he had car problems. Oh, well. Maybe next time we can actually enjoy a couple of days away.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A rotten tree

Photographic evidence of the rotten tree that once stood right on the tree belt outside my home.
I have been calling the city about this tree for years.

This is a brand new stump, not one that has been sitting. Look at all the rot!

You can see in this photo how rotten the tree was all the way to the edge and in the center.

This shows how part of the trunk brok apart from the rest before the chainsaw even hit it. Half of the upper trunk had broken off. This is not clear enough to show the rot that was visible in person.
I am so relieved to have this tree down!
Since around 1994 I have made calls to the city about this tree. Since it was on the tree belt, I could do nothing about it except call. I am glad that my neighbor's home is now safer, and that the transformer is in less danger. In the long run, the removal of this tree will save my city money.
I will have a lot more morning sun in my home now.....maybe my winter heating bills will go down. I can hope anyway!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A congressman with a conscience

I would love to have a Congressman like this one in Massachusetts! He quotes scripture and supports life! He does not kowtow to the "powers that be" in D.C.! We need to pray for him to persevere and for all other congressmen to see the light!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Notebooking pages sale!

Subject: 50% off Back-to-School Sale Event at NotebookingPages.com
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Now is a great time to try some of NotebookingPages.com's products during their 3rd Annual Back-to-School Sale Event! Every product and specially priced combo set is 50% off! You can get ALL of their products for $50 (click here for full details) - save almost $90! PLUS, all customers purchasing their full set of products (for $50) will receive a free BONUS gift package from the following homeschool publishers:

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Talks given at the NECHC

The talks have been posted here. Please take a look at them and rate them. The sound quality is not the greatest (this was a learning process!), but the content is awesome.

Friday, July 31, 2009

What we saw....

When we went to Skinner State Park.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

A Review of Thank God Ahead of Time

Thank God Ahead of Time, The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey by Michael Crosby, O.F.M is exactly what it describes itself to be: a book about the life of Solanus Casey.
Prior to reading this book, I had been hearing the name of Solanus Casey frequently. Fr. Benedict Groeschel had mentioned him on Sunday Night Live, and I had heard him spoken of on several different podcasts. My curiosity was piqued. As I read about what a humble man Fr. Casey was, and about his sincere belief that all prayers are answered, I found my own way of praying changed. I found myself thanking God for answering my requests as I prayed instead of waiting for a result.

Solanus Casey often referred to himself as a poor sinner and requested the prayers of those who sought him out. He believed that God's power was available to each and every one of us if only we had the faith. He lived his life in the service of the Lord as a Capuchin Friar, and he lived the corporal works of mercy by example. He sought to help those in poverty, whether spiritual poverty or a lack of wordly means. He was obedient to his superiors and sought to accept criticism with grace and humility. While he sought justice for those who were downtrodden or wronged, he never sought it for himself, and it is said that he never spoke ill of another.
I pray that his example of how to draw closer to Christ will help me on my journey, and I recommend this wonderful book to any who would also seek to be closer to God.

Solanus Casey is Venerable Solanus Casey. His cause for canonization is being reviewed.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Thank God Ahead of Time The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey by Michael H. Crosby, O.F.M., Cap.

Monday, July 06, 2009

wrapping up

I am still processing all the end of the school year stuff. You know what I mean. The essays and papers that still need to be corrected, the portfolio that still needs to be assembled. I am also waiting for the standardized test results for my 3 children who are at home. We are also thinking about next year and planning for curriculum. We are venturing back into a co-op for many of our classes next year after staying home for all of our classes this past year. I love the co-op as far as opportunity to be with other families goes, however, I am afraid my children see only the social opportunity, and do not understand that this is a wonderful learning opportunity.

I am wondering about how to balance the co-op with the rest of the week. I am also trying to determine if I will continue to attend the Ladies Bible Study that has been a part of my life for so many years. I am not sure if I can justify another day out of the house with 2 co-op days.

In the mean time, one of my dear homeschooling friends is taking classes and talking about becoming a public school teacher. I will miss her if and when she starts teaching in brick and mortar schools.

Dear Lord,
Thank You for opportunities and changes. May we follow Your will for us. Please help us to discern the way You would have us follow.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Have you ever thought about what would happen today if a group of people decided to oppose the government in the way our forefathers opposed the government in 1776? Or even what would happen if there was a true "Boston Tea Party" in today's world? Those involved would be considered treasonous and terrorists.

Just some to think about.

Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Well, we survived the First Annual(hopefully)NECHC.
If you had asked me a month ago if I thought this conference would be successful, I would have scratched my head and and mumbled "ummmmm...." as a vague kind of "I really don't think so, and I think we have been absolutely crazy to undertake this!" After yesterday, though, I am pleased to say that the conference was a success. We had a beautiful day, a great turnout, and happy vendors.
Our lovely Challenge Club girls (with a lot of help from Mrs. Seaver and Mrs. Hill) put together and manned a "food court" to raise money to help defray the costs of the Challenge Summer Convention for the girls who would like to attend this year. Attendees raved about the food.
Dr. William Fahey, President of Thomas More College in NH presented a talk about homeschool fathers. He was very well received by the mixed audience of moms, dads, grandparents and religious who attended. He was at turns witty and serious, and touched on the disconnect that can occur if fathers are "divorced" from the homeschool situation.

Cynthia Montanaro spoke of her years as a homeschool mom and all the lessons she learned along the way. Dr. Jean Golden-Tevald shared her faith journey as a doctor, wife and mother of natural born and adopted children.

There was a music workshop done by Making Music, Praying Twice which seemed geared toward younger children and the importance of surrounding our children with all different types of music from an early age. Nick Morganelli rounded out the afternoon with some fun science experiments that can be done at home. He also demonstrated a "here comes the rain" rhythm with clapping, snapping, stomping that he has used in co-op classes. I am certain that children in a class would love this so much we might have a hard time returning to quiet.

The Daughters of St. Paul presented a lovely hour of Eucharistic Adoration for the hour before Mass. The readings and music brought great peace to the room and very nicely helped to lead everyone into the close of the day. The two sisters also manned a table for Pauline Books and Media.

I think my favorite part of the day, however, was the attendees. People came from as far away as Quebec, Canada, and as near as right here in Chicopee, MA. We had a large turnout of Catholic homeschoolers from CT, RI, and NH. One family came in from Boston very close to the end of the day, having only just heard about the conference on Friday June 5th.

There were several Catholic support groups represented from different areas including this one and this one. It was wonderful to meet so many people dedicated to teaching their children at home. Many people seemed excited about having a Catholic Homeschooling conference.
I know that the Holy Spirit led those of us involved in planning this conference. He laid on our hearts an ache for something that we miss at other homeschool conferences. Our Catholic identity makes us yearn for the presence of the Lord in a way that only Catholics truly appreciate: Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Having both Adoration and the Holy Mass available fulfills in us something that other forms of prayer simply don't give us. It brings the Lord more fully into our hearts and souls.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for Your guiding hand in the NECHC. I am truly awed by the spirit of joy that surrounded all who volunteered and attended the conference. You have blessed us with children who not only help out when "forced," but who also cheerfully offer their assistance where ever they see a need. Please help us to continue to lead them to have servant's hearts. Thank you, Lord, for all those who volunteered at the conference. There were so many who arrived and pitched in. I am humbled by their generous spirits, Lord.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Conference boxes

The tower of boxes shown below arrived today for the NECHC. I will be manning a table for HSLDA. It is hard to believe that 2 years of planning have gone by and the day has nearly arrived!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New additions

We have added a new member to our menagerie. His name is Fitzie. He is soft and white and weighs in at 6 pounds. Can you guess what he is?

If you guessed a small dog, possibly part Bichon, you are correct. We adopted this 11 year old last Friday. I didn't think I would like a small dog, but I was wrong. He plays fetch. He tries to climb on the bed, but I make him get down. He follows me around and sleeps near me where ever I am.
I also added something else to our home. My brother sent me "an old friend." I had one of these when I was a little girl:

Her name is Mrs. Beasley. She was the doll that "Buffy" of the "Family Affair" TV program that ran from 1967-1971 had. I watched that show when I was little and I had a Mrs. Beasley doll. She was the only doll I ever wore out. My brother sent me this one. She is actually an original, and she still has her pull string and talks.
I was really surprised to receive her, and I am thankful to my brother for thinking of me. He sent her without any sort of special occasion....just because he thought of me and Mrs. Beasley.
I am enjoying having her. I had recently been reminiscing about her, so it was that much more of a surprise that my brother sent her. He lives in Ireland and I am in the U.S. and he was not the person I was reminiscing to......

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A notebooking give away

Apologia is now producing notebooking journals that accompany each of the elementary science books. Both Botany and Astronomy are now available. You can see samples on the Apologia website here:

These journals are beautiful spiral bound notebooks that will save you time and money. You won't have to print and keep up with your child's notebook pages, buy and maintain page protectors, or purchase and compile binders...everything that makes notebooking time-consuming and labor intensive for mom. Also, your child will adore having their own notebooking journal.

Each of the notebooking journals include:
  • A daily schedule for those who like to have a plan or would like their children to complete the book on their own
  • Templates for written narrations, the notebooking activities and experiments
  • Review Questions
  • Scripture Copywork, with both print and cursive practice
  • Reading lists and additional activities, projects, experiments for each lesson
  • An appendix with beautiful, full-color, lapbook-style Miniature Books
  • Field Trip Sheets to keep a record field trips
  • A Final Review with fifty questions the students can answer either orally or in writing to show off all they remember and know at the end of the course.
See the sample pages here:

Botany: https://apologia.securesites.net/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=128


Astronomy: https://apologia.securesites.net/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=127

Jeannie is giving away four Astronomy Notebooking Journals and four Botany Notebooking Journals to bloggers who post about this on their site. Visit her blog to learn more about this contest: www.jeanniesjournal.com

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Review of Five Minutes with the Child Jesus

Five Minutes with the Child Jesus A Christmas Story by Alvaro Correa, LC
Illustrations by Gloria Lorenzo
While this story has been called A Christmas Story, I believe it is really a story about the corporal works of mercy and the faith of a child that happens to take place at Christmas.
The main character is Michael, a ten year old boy who knows to be respectful in church, and who truly speaks to Jesus as his friend. School has just let out for Christmas break and Michael has stopped in at Our Lady of the Snow Catholic Church with his friend Andrew, whose father is a sacristan there. While Andrew speaks to his father in the sacristy, Michael sits in a pew and speaks to Jesus.
Jesus not only speaks back to Michael, He brings Michael on a series of visits to the lonely, the impoverished, the sick, and the hard of heart. Michael listens to the instructions of Jesus for each of these visits, and we see people being helped and healed throughout the "five minutes."

This book is written as a children's book, however, it is really a story from which anyone who seeks to do the Lord's will can learn. Jesus said, "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." (Mark 10:14b-15 NAB) This book demonstrates what our Lord meant about the faith of a child.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Five Minutes with the Child Jesus.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rosetta Stone Contest

Rosetta Stone is the fastest way to learn a language and has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while — and you can WIN the *all new* version 3 Rosetta Stone Homeschool LATIN program… FOR FREE! This is the first year you can get Latin in the brand new Version III update.

This is a $259 program (and believe me it’s worth every penny!)
This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever! Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress- I love that!), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.

To win this most excellent Latin program copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR link to the contest from your facebook page and/OR email the information to your homeschool support group – Then go to the original page http://Jeneralities.com and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post. And good luck!

I would love to win this!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

First Game

These photos are from YDS' first baseball game of the season. They still don't keep score and they get 6 pitches, but the kids know which team really won the game. If you get tagged out, you are out. I am not sure if they are counting outs. It would appear they are not. They go through the entire batting order (9 batters). It is coach pitch.
My little guy made a couple of really great plays and got a couple of outs. This is physical education in my homeschool world. This and jumping on the trampoline!Playing first base
Running to first base
He swings and connects!
First up to bat.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Anniversary Sale at Notebooking Pages

NotebookingPages.com 3rd Birthday Celebration Sale - Save 50%

3rd Birthday Celebration Sale

Tired of Busywork? Seize the Most from Your Day . . . with Notebooking!

Notebooking is a powerful tool that captures what your children have learned, turning it into a concise, artful piece of work. Visit NotebookingPages.com for free and affordable templates to help you get started today! Simply print out a selection of free notebooking templates or choose pages from one of their themed sets.

Now is a great time to try some of NotebookingPages.com's products during their 3rd Birthday Celebration! Every product and specially priced combo set is 50% off! You can get ALL of their products for $50 - save almost $90! This sale is only in effect May 6, 7, & 8th. They are also giving away three great prizes!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

More on Notre Dame

Mary Ann Glendon, who had been chosen as the recipient of the Laetare Medal at Notre Dame, has decided against accepting the award. You can read the article here. I know I am applauding Ms. Glendon in this decision. It is sometimes difficult to stand by your convictions, but Ms. Glendon is doing so. Catholics should be thanking her.

growing crystals

We did some crystal growing experiments. These crystals are Magnesium Sulphate (Epsom Salts) By mixing the packaged Magnesium Sulphate with water and allowing the solution to dry over a period of 2 weeks, we grew these crystals.This is another photo of the Magnesium Sulphate crystals.
We also used Sodium Chloride (table salt) to grow crystals. The next 2 photos demonstrate the growth of sodium chloride crystals. Notice the difference in texture!

These crystals grew in a different shape than the magnesium sulphate crystals. The sodium chloride crystals were smaller. They also were more defined. The magnesium sulphate crystals reminded me of the shape that quartz and amethyst grow in.

Water, water everywhere

We signed up for an online video science class by that title through Currclick.com. Here are some photos from some of the experiments we have done. This one is an air pressure experiment. We learned that 1 atmosphere is 14.6 pounds of pressure per square inch and that the air pressure will keep the water in a submerged glass and even push more water into it. The second photo is also the air pressure experiment.
We made a water clock last week. This photo shows the finished product held by YDS.
This photo shows the lines within the bottom cup. It took 90 seconds for water to reach the first line, another 60 seconds to reach the second line, another 105 seconds to reach the third. The total time it took for water to reach the third line was 4 minutes, 15 seconds.
We did an ice cutting experiment using dental floss and an ice cube. Unfortunately, the cut in the ice from the floss did not show up in the photos we took. It was fun to see the ice being cut by dental floss, though. We are looking forward to more experiments in the weeks to come.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Christ is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!


Friday, April 10, 2009

What do you do when....

One of your children lies to you? We are struggling with this on a couple of levels right now, and it is frustrating. We expect the best effort our children can give, and we expect honesty. I don't think that is too much. We are getting neither of these things right now. Some of it I attribute to spring fever. In the youngest, some of it relates to his vision and the huge amount of growing he has been doing. In the oldest one at home, I don't know what to attribute it to. I know he is struggling through his first year in college. I also know he is having a difficult time prioritizing. He is unsure what he wants to do with his life, but then, how many of us at 18 or 19 (or even my age...44) know what we want to "be when we grow up?"

My frustration lies in the dishonesty. If they are truly having a hard time, I want to know it. I can't assist if I don't have a clue.

What have you done in this type of situation?

Dear Lord,
Please be with all our children as they go through the "growing pains" of life. You know their needs, Lord. Please help DH and I, as parents, to guide them when necessary, and to set them straight when needed.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Passion of the Lord

Today is Passion or Palm Sunday. The gospel reading is from the Gospel of Mark and is quite long. I recall being a teen and attending the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday. As on Passion Sunday, at the Passion on Good Friday, the congregants are to read the parts of the gospel when the crowd is yelling for the crucifixion. I had great difficulty with this. I didn't want to shout "Crucify Him!" I did not recognize my own part in the horror of Christ's suffering. I loved Jesus. I did not want to participate in his crucifixion. It took me many more years to realize that my sinfulness contributed to Christ's death, and that He died for my sins as well as for those who shouted "Crucify Him." I may not have been there yelling, but every time I have sinned, my actions have shouted those words. I can only hope that my repentance is pleasing to Him.

Dear Lord,
Please forgive my blindness to my own sin and to my part in Your suffering and crucifixion. Help me to turn my heart toward You and to live the life You would have me live. Please help me to be an example of Christian love for my children so that their lives will be less sinful than mine and their hearts will turn toward You in all they do.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Democrats and charitable giving

I found this article by Ann Coulter very interesting. She compares the charitable giving of our former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney with the charitable giving of our current leaders Barack Obama and Joe Biden. While claiming poverty, these democrats are in the top 1% of earners, and while one tax year (see the article for details) Bush earned 1/3 less than Obama, he gave around the same amount.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March Madness contest

There is a contest going on at Homemaking 911. It is a March madness contest. There are many great prizes including homemaking helps and homeschooling helps. You can enter by leaving a comment, blogging about the contest, adding it to your facebook page, and by "tweeting" about it through Twitter. Go on over and check it out. You could be a winner!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Which Father of the church are you?

You’re St. Melito of Sardis!

You have a great love of history and liturgy. You’re attached to the traditions of the ancients, yet you recognize that the old world — great as it was — is passing away. You are loyal to the customs of your family, though you do not hesitate to call family members to account for their sins.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A great homeschool resource

I have been using The Homeschool Freebie of the Day for about a year now. It has saved me money and trips to the library. There are special freebies each week for subscribers to the weekly e-mail reminder newsletter that are not available on the website.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I am so excited!

My homeschool received a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities. It is a Picturing America Award. It includes 40 reproductions of American art and a teacher resource book.

I am looking forward to discussing this with my homeschool group to see if we could use it for an art/art history class so more students can benefit from the wealth of this grant.

Dear Lord,
I was so surprised by the letter I received via e-mail today telling me about this grant. I had forgotten about applying for it. Thank you for sending this to brighten things up here during the cold dreary winter. It is a reminder that spring will come as the package should arrive in March or April.

Friday, January 02, 2009

MRI results

YDS had a "hypno" appointment with his pediatrician. The doc teaches children self hypnosis to aid in dealing with headaches. While we were there, I got the MRI results which showed a little fluid in his sinuses, but nothing to worry about and no brain abnormalities. HURRAY!!!!! YDS is supposed to practice the self hypnosis daily, but it is supposed to be "his thing" and I am not supposed to remind him/help him. Hopefully this will help him with the headaches.

Thank you for the good news.